By Dorcas Jonah
The Petitions and Appeals Committee for the June 13 National Sports Federations Elections, has nullified the elections of the Presidents of the athletics, taekwondo, gymnastics and weightlifting federations.
Abulrasaq Salau, Chairman of the Committee and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, told newsmen in Abuja on Friday that the nullification was as a result of various infractions.
He said Shehu Gusau, who was elected President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Board, would have to return to the North-West zone to fight it out with Charles Yayock.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yayock who was Gusau’s opponent at the zonal election “was wrongly disqualified on election day without any valid reason’’.
The committee nullified all the elections conducted into the gymnastics federation board following a “damning report’’ by the federation’s electoral committee.
“The electoral committee itself had submitted that it was constrained to nullify all the elections conducted in respect of the federation both at the zonal, vice-presidential and presidential levels.
“Consequently all positions purportedly filled under this federation’s elections are nullified. Fresh elections should be conducted,’’ Salau had said.
The committee also nullified the taekwondo federation elections after discovering that the name of a petitioner, George Ashiru, was wrongly substituted.
“We found merit in his appeal and consequently nullified the presidential election and directed that a fresh election be held, with Ashiru reinstated as the representative of the ex-officio/philanthropist/sponsor on the Board of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation,’’ Salau said.
NAN reports that Margaret Binga had at the elections emerged as President.
The committee further found fault with the presidential elections in the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, following the petition by Tonobok Okowa.
“The petitioner protested against the result of the vice-presidential and presidential elections as a result of irregularities such as multiple registration and voting by proxy.
“The Committee having noted the irregularities highlighted in the petition and having confirmed same from various sources came to the conclusion that the election be nullified and fresh elections ordered for the positions of vice-president and president.’’
The Petitions/Appeals Committee upheld Brown Ebewele’s petition over his omission from the delegates list as the representative of coaches/technical officials on the AFN board.
It said there was no justification for his disqualification.
In the same vein, the committee also upheld Rosa Collins’ petition against her non-inclusion on the delegates list as the duly-elected representative of the National Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS).
It also said Charity Opara-Asonze’s documentations were complete and she was wrongly disqualified.
It upheld her appeal, nullified the zonal election, and ordered a bye-election for the South East zone.
The remaining two of the six petitions against the AFN board elections were dismissed over non-payment of the stipulated fees, which was a condition in the electoral guidelines.
NAN reports that the petitions were submitted separately by Henry Amike and Femi Emmanuel against Gad Onumaegbu in the election for the Coaches/Technical Officials representative.
The committee dismissed the petition by Emeka Onyeama agaimst the election of Aimola Oludare from the North Central Zone.
Onyeama had alleged that before Oludare’s election, some candidates had been disqualified because they failed to satisfy the requirements as stipulated in the guidelines.
But the committee ruled that on the basis of the facts disclosed in the petition, it found no reason to set aside the results of the election as conducted by the electoral committee.
“Accordingly, this petition fails and the election of Mr. Aimola Oludare and other mentioned candidates is upheld and they stand duly elected,’’ Salau said.
The petition by Musa Oshodi and 26 others against the vice-presidential and presidential elections in the Nigeria Judo Federation was also dismissed.
But the committee advised that the remaining zonal election, that of the South-West, should be conducted as soon as possible.
It upheld Oladele Kehinde’s appeal and restored him as the duly elected athletes representative into the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation Board, as against Nasiru Sule.
Sule had contested against him on May 8 and lost.(NAN)